Working Through Low Motivation
As a writer, I know first-hand that there are times when motivation is low, and the creative well runs dry. The first three months of this year have been a struggle for me, and I have felt stuck, not knowing how to move forward with my writing. It can be frustrating to stare at a blank page or screen and feel like you have nothing to offer. However, I've also learned that there are ways to push through those moments and find inspiration, even when you don't feel motivated. In this post, I'll share some tips for staying creative when your motivation is low, in case you’re feeling similar “stuck-ness!”:
Take a break and do something completely different.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your creativity is to step away from your work and do something completely different. This might mean going for a walk to the local park, listening to music, doing some yoga, or even taking a nap. When you come back to the page, you'll be approaching it with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of energy (I also find my best ideas come when I’m walking).
Work on a different project.
If you're feeling stuck on one project, try switching gears and working on something completely different. This might mean writing a short story instead of a novel, or working on a different type of project altogether. I like to mix it up and do some painting or singing. Sometimes, simply working on something new can help to jumpstart your creativity and give you new ideas for your original project.
Change your surroundings.
If you've been staring at the same four walls for hours on end, it's no wonder your creativity has waned. Try changing your surroundings to change your perspective. This might mean working in a coffee shop, going to the library, or even just working in a different room of your house. Just a change of scenery can help to spark new ideas.
Collaborate with others.
Sometimes, working with others can help to boost your creativity and motivation. This might mean working on a project with a friend or colleague, or even just bouncing ideas off of someone else. I found joining a co-working session helpful in discussing where I was feeling stuck and hearing others’ suggestions. Collaborating with others can help to generate new ideas and give you a fresh perspective on your work.
Try a new creative activity.
If you're feeling stuck creatively, it might be time to try something new. This might mean taking up a new hobby like painting or photography (or tap dancing…), or even just trying a new type of writing. Trying something new can help to spark new ideas and give you a new sense of energy and motivation.
Set achievable goals.
If you're feeling unmotivated, it can be helpful to set small, achievable goals for yourself. This might mean writing for 30 minutes a day instead of two hours, or setting a goal to write 500 words instead of 1,000. Setting achievable goals can help to boost your confidence and motivation, and can help you to build momentum over time. Again, in the co-working session, we worked in 45 minute chunks of time, which encouraged focus and gave a sense of achievement - celebrate small wins!
Finally, it's important to remember that creativity doesn't always have to be perfect. Sometimes, the messy act of creating is more important than the end result. Embrace the process, embrace imperfection and allow yourself to make mistakes. This can help to take the pressure off and give you the freedom to create without fear of failure.
To wrap up, staying creative when your motivation is low can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. By taking breaks, switching things up, collaborating with others, trying new things, setting achievable goals, and embracing imperfection, you can keep your creative well from running dry. Remember to be patient with yourself, and to keep experimenting and exploring until you find what works for you.